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Effects of raw materials on vermicompost qualities

A'ali, Rahman, Jafarpour, Mehrdad, Kazemi, Elahe, Pessarakli, Mohammad
Journal of plant nutrition 2017 v.40 no.11 pp. 1635-1643
agricultural industry, corn, electrical conductivity, humans, industrial byproducts, mushroom compost, nitrogen, nutrients, pH, phosphorus, pollutants, pomegranates, potassium, raw materials, sawdust, sheep manure, sugar beet pulp, toxic substances, vermicomposting, vermicomposts
Overuse of the chemical compounds and toxic elements leads to problems and transmission of contaminants and pollutants to humans and other living organisms. One of the agricultural industries' byproducts is production of various composts from the organic raw materials and its best type is Vermicompost. In this study, effects of raw materials on qualitative and quantitative characteristics of vermicompost are discussed. To do so, sheep manure, pomegranate peels, spent mushroom compost either singly or double-, triple-, or four-fold chopped corn, sugar beet pulp, and sawdust were used. This research project was conducted in a completely randomized design experiment with 23 treatments with 3 replications. Results revealed that various bed combinations exert different effects on vermicompost quality such that the vermicomposting process led to a significant decrease in electrical conductivity and a significant increase in pH in most of the culture (seed) beds. Also, the levels of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium in most treatments increased following completion of the vermicomposting process. As a result, this process can be introduced as an organic fertilizer with complete nutrients for improving chemical characteristics of agricultural wastes to usable fertilizers.